Co-operative MP Jonathan Reynolds has been appointed Vice Chair Youth of the Labour Party. Here he outlines how the youth sections of both parties can work ever closer together – and why.

Young members are the backbone of political campaigning, turning out week after week on doorsteps and at events across the country. Young Party members also make vital contributions on policy, governance, fundraising and are the talent pool for future candidates at all levels. We neglect our young members at our peril.

For these reasons the ‘Refounding Labour’ project has led to the return of a position ‘Vice Chair Youth’ for the Party, which I am delighted to have taken on. I will be a strong advocate for young members to ensure that they are properly represented at all levels in the Party, particularly at a time when young people are suffering from the Tory-led government’s cuts to EMA, higher education funding, welfare and the abolition future jobs fund.

As a Labour Co-operative MP I particularly want my time in the role of Vice Chair Youth to lead to even stronger collaboration between Co-operative Party Youth, Young Labour and Labour Students.

All our youth organisations have an important role to play in bringing Labour and the Co-operative Party back to power in Westminster and all are potential routes for new members. By supporting each others’ campaigns and events, we can help each other reach out to those not yet engaged with politics.

I’ve been impressed by the Co-operative Party Youth’s support for the end legal loan sharking campaign, in both Liverpool and London. Just like Labour Students’ campaigns for a living wage, the campaign to end legal loan sharking highlights issues of fairness and social justice at the heart of why we come into politics.

I’d like to see Co-operative Party Youth continue its campaigning alongside Labour Co-operative MPs and young Labour members, especially as we draw towards elections.

I would encourage young members to get actively involved with the Co-operative Party Youth by contacting their regional rep and turning out to support events and local campaigning.